No interruptions allowed for state and local governments

July 28, 2020 By Bob Benstead

Disruptions. Unknowns. These are the words we hear to describe our current social, cultural, and economic climate. And while uncertain times have lead to a collective insecurity, they have also amplified the crucial role governments play in maintaining quality of life and peace of mind across constituencies.

That’s why it is more important than ever for governments to look for new ways to provide continuity of service, no matter what the challenges. And technology plays a big role in that.

In short, while many of us have been asked to scale back daily activities – and to even stay home - ensuring a safe community is still a priority of our government agencies. In fact, government service delivery will, in some cases, increase in such areas as social services.

In the recently published Best Practices guide: Ensuring community business continuity in time of disruption in state and local governments, we talk about how to embrace existing and emerging technologies to help support everything from basic services to executing long-term recovery plans and policies.

It’s a careful balancing act. At the same time, governments need to provide daily services such as keeping water flowing to taps, they need to also analyze broader practices that may altering in light of our new reality.

The key is looking at existing systems and how they can be more agile to any disruptions, whether a pandemic, a natural disaster, or other major events. This is one in a series of blogs where we will look more in-depth at how governments can continue to not only perform crucial services, but use technology to set themselves up for future success.

Here are just a few steps government organizations can take, today, to build stability and provide contactless continuity of service, even in the most uncertain of times.

  • Deploy strategies that allow for more business to be conducted online.
  • Bolster mobile capabilities to meet the needs of service users, while also engaging the growing numbers of remote workers and their managers.
  • Provide a self-service portal. This single effort can mitigate the need for large, onsite staffing.
  • Upgrade real-time communications to proactively notify the public regarding altered or delayed services, and changes in policies and protocols, which can happen quickly.

All of this is made easier through cloud deployment. A recent Gartner report, 5 Ways for Government CIOs to Optimize Cloud Deployment, states the importance of careful planning for long-term return on a cloud investment. But it’s worth it. The US Office of Management and Budget reports that preserving legacy systems accounts for close to 70 + percent of IT budgets government-wide. In a time of declining budgets, that provides a lot of opportunities for resource savings.

Many – if not most – governments have in place the system infrastructure to start moving toward a more connected, digital approach. Now is the time to carefully consider how those technologies can ensure long-term sustainability and maintain public trust.

If you find the themes covered in this blog post relevant to your business, we invite you to download the Best practices guide on Ensuring community business continuity in times of disruption.

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